Low-Cost Technology Solutions to Connect the First and Last Mile and Redefine Medication Supply Chains Across East Africa
Jessica Vernon of Maisha Meds in the U.S. will develop a smartphone-based point-of-sale system and online ordering platform to better supply medications to the private healthcare markets across sub-Saharan Africa. Local private pharmacies supply important health care products to a large number of people, particularly those without employer-funded health care. However, they are often understocked, or stocked with poor quality or expensive medicines, and require cash payments. Because many pharmacy owners have smartphones, they are developing a point-of-sale system for Android devices that records information associated with each sale such as price, brand, and patient phone number. This will enable the shop owners to better manage their inventory and predict future demand, thereby improving their performance. They will also leverage partnerships with trusted suppliers and develop an e-Marketplace so that pharmacists can order stocks electronically based on these predictions. They will test their platform over nine months in selected pharmacies in Kenya.